By Dan Calabrese
Most organizations that are $20 trillion in the red – OK, there are no other organizations that are $20 trillion in the red – but most who are bleeding cash wouldn’t even consider giving across-the-board raises to employees.
But to not do so is controversial in Washington because the Beltway always spends and spends and spends some more, regardless of whether it actually has the money or of how much it owes.
This isn’t the way it’s done in the business world, and maybe that’s why the swamp was so terrified about the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president. He just might apply what he learned in the private sector and apply heretofore unimaginable common sense to the way federal employees are paid:
President Donald Trump has told Congress he is canceling a pay raise that most civilian federal employees were due to receive in January, citing budgetary constraints.
Trump informed House and Senate leaders in a letter sent Thursday.
Trump says in the letter that locality pay increases would cost $25 billion, on top of a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for most civilian government employees.
He cites the costs and says: “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.” Trump says he’s determined that for 2019 “both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero.”
There are plenty of other areas of the federal government that could stand to be cut, and I’d like to see Trump fight a little harder for those cuts – although he certainly tried with his rescission effort only to be thwarted by the likes of Susan Collins. But that doesn’t mean it makes sense to give the entire federal workforce raises when the deficit is once again blowing up in the direction of $1 trillion a year.
This is just a basic common-sense decision, and there’s not a private-sector CEO in the world who wouldn’t do the same thing facing similar fiscal realities – at least not if he wanted to keep his job.
But Washington is a different animal and Trump is going to be savaged as a beast and a brute for this. Then again, he gets savaged as those things no matter what he does, so hey, why not?
Indeed, it’s the federal workforce that is often operating behind the scenes to undermine Trump’s agenda. Now their raise has been cancelled. Coincidence?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!